Category: One Little Word

In the Frame – A Journey into Self Portraiture – Part Two

Over the summer I have been continuing to play and experiment with taking selfies. From the point of view of my phone camera I never really stop taking photos often of my feet and sometimes on the timer but I have been using the big camera more to try and hone my self portrait skills.

You can read the beginning of this story here.

Going back and reading that post has me inspired all over again! Anyway here are a few from this summer, some thoughts and revelations!

I bought one of Vivienne’s online classes and have loved reading her tips and positive messages about this form of photography. I’ve been trying out one of the methods she uses for focussing the camera. Simply put she turns off auto focus and uses the feet/metre guide on the lens to work out where the focus point is then stands there.

I don’t always get it right as you can see in a couple of the photos above but I’m still enjoying it and also now deliberately standing out of focus for a different type of shot.

I’m obsessed with the jumping shots and want to get a good one….. I’ll keep practicing.

Something I have got better at is looking for the light. Photos are just better when there is some light and dark, some sunshine basically. And from a technical point of view the more light the faster you can have the shutter and hopefully capture an in motion type of shot.

And even sometimes when you use that sunshine to take a great all be it a technically bad picture.

The light in Tuscany was just amazing. And I have more evidence that I wear skirts!

I say that a little tongue in cheek but this photo journey has made me realise that I dress in jeans all the time. I like to be comfortable and I guess I have a uniform for day to day living.

However, going back to Vivienne’s original idea about ‘cultivating self love through self portraiture’ I have come to the conclusion that although I like being ‘comfy’ what that actually means is that I choose to wear those jeans over skirts and dresses because of the thoughts I have about my body. I should add, the negative thoughts I have about my body. I hide behind what I feel are neutral clothes, nothing that makes me stand out too much.

Yet by looking at the photos from the post in 2016 and some of these here I love to see myself in something other than jeans. I can honestly say that this has been a revelation, a pause for thought, something that I need to be conscious of and work towards changing. Loving myself in whatever clothes truly want to wear.

This self portraiture journey really is turning into an adventure of discovery on so many levels and I am bravely taking these steps, practicing all the things and embracing what I see through the click of that shutter.

One Little Word® 2018 – Practice – Update

The year is speeding away and I have not been doing so well with my word this time around. I’m both disappointed and not surprised. At the start of the year I had high hopes that this word was going to be the one that clicked, the one that I stuck to and made real changes in my everyday life.

I’ve just gone back and read my January post again, the words I took time to write at the beginning of this journey.

Let me celebrate what has worked. The yoga. I have been practicing for over a year now and love it still.

All the other things are still a work in progress. But that’s okay. What I need to do is accept what’s gone and move forward with the intention of trying to keep my word more active in my head for the rest of this year. There are a whole five months left that is plenty of time to work with this wonderful word.

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One Little Word® is a project developed by Ali Edwards. Read all about it over here.

Someone Loves the Snow and a Little Practice

Popping in real quick today to share this series of fun photos in the spirit of my One Little Word®. When I decided to delay going into work because of the surprise snow fall I grabbed the camera and caught a sweet doggie having some fun.

Not the best photos, that’s why I needed to practice taking pictures in the snow (it throws the exposure out) but still fun ones….

Needless to say that pristine and beautiful snow-covered garden is now trashed with his antics!

One Little Word® 2018 – Practice

This is the fifth year I am embarking on walking with a word.

Previous words were –

  • Listen
  • Align
  • Whole
  • Light

I usually start strong and enthusiastic. And this year has been no exception. My word showed up in mid November and stuck. Pretty sure it is all linked to the yoga I have been doing. Whenever anyone refers to ‘doing’ yoga they always call it a ‘practice’.

Here in the UK we have two spellings of this word.

Practice – The application or use of an idea, belief, method. “The principles and practice of teaching.”

Practise – Perform an activity repeatedly to improve. 

I hold my hand up and admit that thinking about these two made my head hurt……. I get it. Mostly. I may slip up along the year’s journey and spell it wrong, forgive me in advance!

Anyway onwards.

There are a few areas that spring to mind when thinking about my journey with this word.

You can see from the photo above that I’ve made a note of things that initially came to mind about my word. Yoga, health, kindness, photography, playing music, making art, meditation, being present, giving.

For me this word is not about practice to make perfect. It is more practice to live good. That is the essence of how the word manifested in my mind.

We are all a work in progress right? And I’d like to find a balance between the idea of working, working, working at something till you get fed up and give up (well I do) and saying okay got that wrong lets have another go. There is a difference in the mindset. I want to nudge myself towards having another go because I know I’m the sort of personality that when pushed gives up – I’m stubborn that way. HA!

So lets see if I can acknowledge this, have some understanding and kindness towards myself and hopefully it will help me grow and become more practised in these areas of my life.

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One Little Word® is a project developed by Ali Edwards. Read all about it over here.

Looking forward to…….

(The photo has nothing whatsoever to do with this post but I mean c’mon…….)

We are looking forward to the Winter Olympics. The winter games have a place in our hearts more than the summer games do. We love the curling! It all started in 2006 when the U.K ladies were defending their title. We were decorating our bedroom and set a little T.V up in there so we could watch all the matches. We also like the scary luge, skeleton and bobsleigh events and four years ago we really go into the snowboarding too!

We are going to read two books a month, at least. Gav’s joining me on this quest. The stacks of book to be read are crazy right now so we need to do something about them. Last year was possibly my slowest reading year since 2012. I need to work on this.

We are going to see The Last Jedi again tonight! We had a big family outing the week in between Christmas and New Year to see this long awaited movie and we both loved it so a return trip is in order.

I have a new One Little Word®. PRACTICE. More to come on this.

I am taking part in the 30 day yoga challenge over here. I have been doing a little yoga since May last year. I don’t feel like I have improved physically but I know my mind loves this practice and I like the way she teaches so thought it would be good to give a challenge a go.

We are going to start learning a new song in our mini band soon. H, Gav and I have been learning ‘No Surprises’ by Radiohead for a few months. We haven’t perfected it but it is time to try something new.

We are looking through all the seed catalogues and getting excited for another growing season. I need to have a search through all my flower photos to see what was a success last year. So adore growing things!

Just a few things to think about as we get into this year of 2018!

One Little Word® 2016 – Whole – an update

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It had been months, 7 months in fact, since I posted about this project.

Overall this year has been more ‘succesful’ than previous years both in terms of taking part with the monthly prompts for the class and feeling like I have stepped a tiny fraction closer to what my ‘whole’ means.

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At the start of the year there was a lot of thinking about what the word means to us. I’ve just re-read my post from January and still believe that the word you select doesn’t matter 100%. What matters is your willingness to keep the word with you throughout the year, to walk with it as Ali says, to invite it into your life and develop a relationship with it.

I have done that more this year than before. And that is great.

Here is April’s prompt.

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Something that came directly from working on that months prompt is a habit of drinking water every morning before I take Buddy out for a walk. I’ve also continued to enjoy a herb tea instead of coffee at least once a day at work. And amazingly I have been walking 10 thousand steps a day (more on that milestone to come.)

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One of my favourite monthly prompts was May when I felt like I really grasped the idea of my word on a less literal level.

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The idea was to use photography as a ‘lens’ to see your word in your life at that point in time.

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Oh and that picture of me with my eyes closed has to be one of my most favourite selfies! Just something about it.

July saw us creating manifesto/encouragement cards.

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I struggled a little that month and felt like I was repeating myself but I still enjoyed the creative side and getting something in my album.

And that is where I am up to. Looking forward to finishing August and getting into September.

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One Little Word® is an idea developed by Ali Edwards read about it over here.

And read other posts about my words here.

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One Little Word® – 2016 – Whole

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I’m joining in again. I’m keeping it low key, not making any rash statements. I have joined in on the workshop again and we’ll just see how this year rolls.

I almost picked a different word because Whole is the word Ali has chosen and I don’t want to follow her ideas for the word. But this year I wanted a looser word, if that makes sense.

I am sort of coming to the conclusion that really it doesn’t matter what word you pick. The purpose of having a word is to be more intentional, more thoughtful, more active throughout the year and you can ‘fit’ those things in around your word.

All that said I do admit that one of the reasons I am drawn to whole is the idea about whole food. Not whole foods as in a health food shop, although that features, but just taking time to think about the idea of whole food and trying to eat more of it and less processed. We’ll see.

What’s your word?

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One Little Word® is an idea developed by Ali Edwards read about it over here.

And read other posts about my words here.

One Little Word® – Align

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Here I am choosing a word for a second year.

I can’t move forward without a little nod to my word from last year. Listen.

Listen and I didn’t get on as well as I hoped we would. I think that I had it in my head from the very start that I couldn’t do this listening thing and I think that mental attitude had a lot to do with the lack of success. I also made the mistake of not getting an album set up for this project. I was following along with this class and as part of the process of making your word more visible you get creative prompts each month. I thought I could use a Smash book instead of an album but it didn’t work out for me.

Even though I don’t think I was very successful last year with Listen I know that I did do some listening that might have passed me by otherwise. For example, I decided to turn down a job offer. I was lucky enough to get an opportunity in the place I work now a few months later so that worked out. And I intend to keep Listen with me as I go forwards.

So Align.

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Until about a week or so ago I didn’t have a word picked. I didn’t even think I was going to join in this year with the workshop. But then I took a few minutes to think about words and jotted down a few. I let them sit with me overnight and I went back to thinking about which word ‘sat well with me’ the next day.

I looked a couple up in a thesaurus and one of the jumble of words I found was Align. I added that to the small list.

All that day Align drifted in and out of my mind. I came back to it over and over and it wouldn’t leave my brain so I decided to go with as because it seemed to have picked me.

I have album all ready to go this year, it’s a 8.5 x 11 black American Crafts.

I am enthusiastic and ready. What’s your word?

 

One Little Word® – thoughts in November

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This was a new adventure for me, having a word. I have to admit that it has not been a great success. But I have been listening to Ali every month and after listening to the November video I was inspired to write something down.

I was in tune with what she had to say this month. Her thoughts were along these lines – by choosing your word you expected to learn this instead you leaned this.

By choosing listen I thought I would learn how to listen more to people around me, how to pay more attention and be present. I expected a magic wand.

Instead I learned that I can listen to my heart. And I learned that I am stronger than I thought I was. I learned that this word will stay with me, even if I pick another for next year, I will keep listen close because I like the challenge it brings and I don’t yet feel I have done it justice.

One Little Word – update

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It has been a while since I mentioned my little word. Truth be told I am still struggling with this whole process but I’ve been thinking about this subject for weeks now and even though it isn’t tied in directly to the class and my word I think I should write it down because it is nattering inside my brain and in the spirit of listening I am, so here goes.

When I was little I couldn’t grasp the idea that decisions you made didn’t have to be forever. Let me explain.

You embrace change and decide to go and live in the country. Bham! That’s it, you’re gone to the country and can never be a city girl again. Or you go and live abroad and after a few years want to come back but you can’t because you decided to go and live in France and that’s that, or change jobs and that’s it forever, decision made no going back.

I say I thought this way when I was a child but really I still do.

I am not a fan of change. It scares the dickens out of me. My brain runs riot about all the negative things associated with change. How will I cope with something new? Everyone will know how useless I am. I’ll never understand anything about this new computer.

Yes, there are serious self-confidence issues here but also I think, a huge lack of understanding of the bigger picture in life and a lack of understanding of myself?

Of course I can change jobs and if I don’t like it I can look for something else. Or Gav and I could go and live in the country, we could always come back to the city. Nothing is set in stone.

I’ll say it again because writing it down might make me believe it. Nothing is set in stone.

Being brave, having confidence, taking a chance is something I work on perhaps not often enough but hopefully by documenting it here I can keep working on it.